From Frank J MELILLO
@. . . . . Here are my latest Mars images as of 4/14/2001. I obtained some of the violet images. It will be posted on the Marswatch 2001.
(14 April 2001 email)
@. . . . . Actually, I took two images of Mars in red light Wr. #25 on April 14th at 8:26 and 8:34 UT. They both show a dark spot in Mare Sirenum. (I sent already to all of you one image of the red.) I didn't look careful at my images and I didn't suspect anything at that moment except that I was looking at a dark spot. Nothing hit me and nothing was looking bright in that area. However in violet light Wr. #47, the SPH was showing and the morning clouds was seen along the eastern limb.
Now I see both red images are showing Mare Sirenum the eastern part visible while other part was obscured. But, I usually see Mare Sirenum stretches across the southern disk at CM 130 longitude. This time I didn't.
(17 April 2001 email)
@. . . . . Originally, I was planning to image Mars this weekend. But the weather will be cloudy and with a chance of showers in New York City area. Luckily, I imaged Mars early Friday morning before the clouds arrived.
To look after the "possible" dust storm, Mare Sirenum is completely obscured (if I'm not mistaken) on the eastern side of the disk
while Solis Lacus is prominent along the western side. I compared it with a similar view I had in 1986 and Mare Sirenum was clearly visible at CM 90 degrees longitude!
In violet light Wr.#47, the SPH is visible at large while the NPH is quite small. Some white clouds along the east and southeast limb.
Did anybody see Mars at the same time?
(21 April 2001 email)
@. . . . . Dear Rich Mckim and all Mars observers-
Thanks for your e-mail.
Still, I'm not sure myself if it is dust scattered around Mare Sirenum. It is not bright in Red light and there is no boundary lines.
Yes, you're right that Mare Sirenum is difficult and a lot thinner to see at this CM longitude 90 degrees. Another thing; At CM - 85 degrees longitude, Solis Lucas should be right above the center of the disk. Maybe it is obscured by the dust also. It is quite blank in that area. But toward the West, it is perhaps part of Solis Lucas and then Mare Erythraeum to the limb. I still don't know if the SPH plays a trick on this! It is clearly visible with a Wr.#47 violet filter.
I hope you guys observed Mars nearly the same time I did to solve this matter.
(22 April 2001 email)
Frank J MELILLO (NY, USA)
Director, the ALPO Mercury Section